Over the past few weeks, I have been learning to make cake pops using online help forums only. In the video below, I take you through my journey of learning how to make cake pops. It definitely was not as easy as I thought it would be, but with practice and the help of the internet, I seem to be getting the hang of it. I read through many different blogs and websites and watched various YouTube videos, but I found three resources that really helped me out the most, which I talk more about in my video. With these resources, I was able to learn from my mistakes and make more visually appealing cake pops than the first time.
Overall, I really enjoyed this project. I had a ton of fun learning something that I have wanted to for a long time but just haven’t gotten the chance with being so busy. As for learning in this “networked” way, it felt very natural because this is how I learn to do most things nowadays. I always have my phone on me, so if I don’t know know something, I Google it. The one thing that was difficult about this way of learning was not being able to talk to people I know for help. I have a cousin who is a baker, so I was very tempted to call her a couple of times to ask for her help when something was going wrong as I was making them. Instead, I had to look for the answer online or ask someone online, which took too long to get a response. Therefore, I believe that learning using digital media is very beneficial, and the internet has a variety of great resources, but I also think that people all around us are a wealth of knowledge, and we need to access all resources (digital or not) for a well-balanced learning journey.
Googling and researching online comes very natural to most adults because we have been doing it for quite some time, but it is very important to teach students these critical thinking skills. Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown (2011) explain that “students must focus more on knowing where to find the information than on knowing what.” For example, if my second grade students were doing this project, I think that some of them would have a hard time finding credible websites and picking out important information from help forums. Therefore, as educators, we must teach them these skills. In a world that has access to knowledge with the touch of a button, it is no longer necessary to teach a specific set of information but rather to teach the critical thinking skills needed to obtain that information.
Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky: CreateSpace?.